Friday, November 11, 2016

Saint November 12 : St. Josaphat : Archbishop and Martyr : Patron of #Ukraine

ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR
Feast: November 12
Information:
Feast Day:
November 12
Born:
1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine)
Died:
12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus
Canonized:
1876
Patron of:
Ukraine
Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or — according to some writers — 1584; died at Vitebsk, Russia, 12 November, 1623.
The saint's birth occurred in a gloomy period for the Ruthenian Church. Even as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the Florentine Union had become a dead-letter; in the case of the Ruthenian Church, complete demoralization followed in the wake of its severance from Rome, and the whole body of its clergy became notorious alike for their gross ignorance and the viciousness of their lives. After the Union of Berest’ in 1596 the Ruthenian Church was divided into two contending parties — the Uniates and those who persevered in schism — each with its own hierarchy. Among the leaders of the schismatic party, who laboured to enkindle popular hatred against the Uniates, Meletius Smotryckyj was conspicuous, and the most celebrated of his victims was Josaphat.
Although of a noble Ruthenian stock, Josaphat's father had devoted himself to commercial pursuits, and held the office of town-councilor. Both parents contributed to implant the seeds of piety in the heart of their child. In the school at Volodymyr Josaphat — Johannes was the saint's baptismal name — gave evidence of unusual talent; he applied himself with the greatest zeal to the study of ecclesiastical Slav, and learned almost the entire casoslov (breviary), which from this period he began to read daily. From this source he drew his early religious education, for the unlettered clergy seldom preached or gave catechetical instruction. Owing to the straitened circumstances of his parents, he was apprenticed to the merchant Popovyc at Vilna. In this town, remarkable for the corruption of its morals and the contentions of the various religious sects, he seemed specially guarded by Providence, and became acquainted with certain excellent men (e.g. Benjamin Rutski), under whose direction he advanced in learning and in virtue.
At the age of twenty-four (1604) he entered the Basilian monastery of the Trinity at Vilna. The fame of his virtues rapidly spread, and distinguished people began to visit him. After a notable life as a layman, Rutski also joined the order, bringing with him a wide erudition. When Josaphat reached the diaconate, regular services and labour for the salvation of souls had been already begun; the number of novices steadily increased, and under Rutski — who had meanwhile been ordained priest — there began the regeneration of religious life among the Ruthenians. In 1609, after private study under the Jesuit Fabricius, Josaphat was ordained priest. He subsequently became superior in several monasteries, and on 12 November, 1617, was reluctantly consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, with right of succession to the Archbishopric of Polotsk. He became archbishop in 1618.
While each succeeding year saw fresh evidence of his fruitful labours, it also witnessed the steady growth of the hatred of the schismatic party. Finally on 12 November, 1623, an axe-stroke and a bullet brought Josaphat his martyr's crown. After numerous miracles had occurred, a commission was appointed by Urban VIII in 1628 to inquire into the cause of Josaphat, and examined on oath 116 witnesses. Although five years had elapsed since Josaphat's death, his body was still incorrupt. In 1637 a second commission investigated the life of the martyr, and in 1643 — twenty years after his death — Josaphat was beatified. His canonization took place in 1867.
Great were the virtues of the saint. As a boy he shunned the usual games of childhood, prayed much, and lost no opportunity of assisting at the Divine services. Children especially regarded him with the greatest affection, and found in him a worthy model. As an apprentice, he devoted every leisure hour to prayer and study. At first Popovyc viewed this behaviour with displeasure, but Josaphat gradually won such a position in his esteem, that Popovyc offered him his entire fortune and his daughter's hand. But Josaphat's love for the religious life never wavered. At first without a human guide along the paths of virtue, he received all spiritual direction immediately from the Holy Ghost.
His favourite pious exercise was to make a poklony (i.e. a reverence, in which the head touches the ground) with the ejaculation: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner." Never eating meat, he fasted much, wore a hair-shirt and an angular chain, slept on the bare floor, and chastised his body until the blood flowed. The Jesuits frequently urged him to set some bounds to his austerities.
From his zealous study of the liturgical books he drew many proofs of Catholic truth, using his knowledge in the composition of several works — "On the Baptism of St. Volodymyr"; "On the Falsification of the Slavic Books by the Enemies of the Metropolitan"; "On Monks and their Vows". As deacon, priest, and bishop, he was distinguished by his extraordinary zeal in the service of souls. Not alone in the church did he preach and hear confessions, but likewise in the fields, hospitals, prisons, and even on his journeys. Even where his words of instruction might by themselves have failed, his entreaties and tears ensured him success. This zeal, united with his kindness and extraordinary love for the poor, won numbers to the Catholic Faith. Among his converts were included many important personages such as Ignatius, Patriarch of Moscow, and Emmanuel Cantacuzenus, who belonged to the family of the Greek Emperor Pal├Žologus.
As archbishop he restored the churches; issued a catechism to the clergy with instructions that it should be learned by heart; composed rules for the priestly life, entrusting to the deacons the task of superintending their observance; assembled synods in various towns in the dioceses, and firmly opposed the Imperial Chancellor Sapieha, when he wished to make many concessions in favour of the schismatics. Throughout all his strivings and all his occupations, he continued his exemplary life as a religious, and never abated his zeal for self-mortification and prayer. He awaited death with a certain yearning, refusing to avail himself of the opportunity of flight afforded him. After his death his influence was still greater: conversions were numerous, and veneration for him continued to extend. His feast is kept on the first Sunday after 12 November, according to the Julian Calendar. Note: His feast is currently kept on November 12 on the Universal Calendar.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis surprise visit with men who left Priesthood for Marriage - Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met a group of young men who have left the priesthood during the past years to show his closeness and affection towards them. His surprise visit to an apartment in the outskirts of Rome to meet with the group made up of five  Italians, a Spaniard and a man from Latin America, came as part of his traditional gestures of Mercy on one Friday a month during this Jubilee Year.
A Vatican statement said the young men in question took the difficult decision to leave the priesthood despite opposition in many cases from their fellow priests or their families after serving for several years in parishes where loneliness, misunderstanding, fatigue arising from their many responsibilities prompted them to rethink their choice. It said the men spent months and years wrestling with uncertainty and doubts before coming to the decision they had made a mistake by becoming priests and therefore decided to leave and form a family.

Wow #PopeFrancis invites 6000 Homeless to Vatican for Jubilee - “Don’t stop dreaming!”

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday welcomed to Rome more than 6000 people, men and women from various European nations, who have lived, or are even now, living on the street.
The Jubilee for Socially Excluded Persons embraced not only the homeless, but also disadvantaged persons and people living in poverty.
The event was made possible with the help of “Fratello”, an association which organizes and hosts events with and for people in situations of exclusion, in partnership with associations assisting such people.
Following testimonies from two of the participants, Pope Francis addressed the crowd, thanking them for coming to Rome to meet with him and to pray for him. The Holy Father reflected on some of the ideas brought up by the two men who spoke before him.
The first was that human beings do not differ from the “great people” of the world. All men and women, the great and the small, have their own passions and dreams. “Don’t stop dreaming!” the Pope insisted. The poor, he continued, are at the heart of the Gospel; they came to Jesus precisely because they dreamed that the Lord would help and heal them.
Pope Francis then turned to another expression, “Life becomes beautiful.” This signifies dignity, he said. “The ability to encounter beauty, even in things that involve the most sadness and suffering, is something that only men and women who have dignity can have.” He emphasized the virtue of solidarity, when people – especially those whose lives are difficult – are able to have compassion for others who are suffering even more. And he thank those present for their example of solidarity, asking them to teach solidarity to the world.
Finally, Pope Francis spoke on the theme of peace, calling on everyone to continue to work in favour of peace in the world. “The greatest poverty is war!” he said. “It is the poverty that destroys… We need of peace in the world! We need peace in the Church!”
Following his address, a group of the poor and disadvantaged, who had joined Pope Francis on the stage, gathered round the Pope, placing their hands on him, and praying for him.

RIP singer Leonard Cohen - remembered by his "Hallelujah" - Viral Video sung by a Priest - Pray for his soul...

Leonard Norman Cohen, was a Jewish Canadian singer, songwriter, poet who died November 7, 2016. He was born on  September 21 1934.  He was part of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also a Companion of the Order of Canada. He died on 7 November 2016 at the age of 82 at his home in Los Angeles. Cohen was survived by his two children and two grandchildren.Cohen was interested in Jesus as a universal figure, saying, "I'm very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who walked the face of this earth. Any guy who says 'Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek' has got to be a figure of unparalleled generosity and insight..." Cohen had a relationship beginning in the 1970s with  Suzanne Elrod, with whom he had two children: a son, Adam, born in 1972, and a daughter, Lorca born in 1974.
Father Ray Kelly sang custom-made cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at a wedding. The online video went viral showing Kelly singing. It is found below: 
Please PRAY for the Repose of his soul....

What is Veterans' or Remembrance Day - 5 things to SHARE - Wear a #Poppy and #Prayers

1. On November 11, many people wear a red poppy in memory of the war veterans and victims. It was at 11 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that the Armistice was signed signaling the end of World War I. 
2. At that point the guns stopped after 4 years of war. 
3.Remembrance Day was instituted by King George the V in 1919 and is celebrated in Commonwealth countries. In the USA it is celebrated as Veteran's Day. 
4.The red from the Poppy flower, which grew over several battlefields, sybolized the blood shed by the troops. 
5. The Poppy comes from the famous poem of remembrance: (IMAGE SOURCE : THE GUARDIAN/GOOGLE)
 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Let us pray for these victims and all victims of war. May we learn to live in peace with one another and with God.
FROM USCCB OFFICIAL PRAYERS FOR WAR 

Prayers in a Time of War

  1. For Troops
    All-powerful and ever-living God,
    when Abraham left his native land
    and departed from his people
    you kept him safe through all his journeys.
    Protect these soldiers.
    Be their constant companion and their strength in battle,
    their refuge in every adversity.
    Guide them, O Lord, that they may return home in safety.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  2. Prayer of a Spouse for a Soldier
    God of power and might,
    at every moment and in every place
    you are near to those who call upon your name in faith.
    In marriage you have blessed us with a share in your divine love.
    Look upon my husband/wife and keep him/her in your safekeeping,
    no matter where the road may lead.
    And when the battle is ended,
    bring him/her safely home to those who love him.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  3. Prayer of a Parent for a Soldier
    Father all-powerful and ever-loving God,
    from before we were born,
    your love has nurtured and sustained us.
    Hear my prayer for N., my son/daughter.
    Keep him/her safe in time of battle
    and faithful to you, day in and day out.
    Bring him/her safely home to those who love him/her.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  4. For Government Leaders
    God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
    through you authority is rightly administered,
    laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
    Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
    the President and other government leaders of these United States.
    May they always seek
    the ways of righteousness, justice and mercy.
    Grant that they may be enabled by your powerful protection
    to lead our country with honesty and integrity.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  5. For the Safety of Soldiers
    Almighty and eternal God,
    those who take refuge in you will be glad
    and forever will shout for joy.
    Protect these soldiers as they discharge their duties.
    Protect them with the shield of your strength
    and keep them safe from all evil and harm.
    May the power of your love enable them to return home
    in safety, that with all who love them,
    they may ever praise you for your loving care.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  6. For our Enemies
    Jesus, Prince of Peace,
    you have asked us to love our enemies
    and pray for those who persecute us.
    We pray for our enemies and those who oppose us.
    With the help of the Holy Spirit,
    may all people learn to work together
    for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.
    To you be glory and honor for ever and ever.
  7. For Deceased Veterans
  8. O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest,
  9. look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their
    lives in the service of their country.
    Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son
    they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom
    and rejoice in you with your saints forever.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.

#PopeFrancis "May our love be concrete with works of mercy whereby we touch the Flesh of Christ..." Homily


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis warned Christians on Friday against ideologies on love and intellectual theories, saying these strip away the Flesh of the Church and ruin it. He was speaking during his Mass celebrated on Friday morning at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his cue from the day’s gospel reading coming from the second Letter of St. John, the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the nature of Christian love and how the word ‘love’ is used nowadays to describe many different things. He stressed that the true criterion of Christian love is the Incarnation of the Word, saying whoever denies or does not recognize this is “the antichrist.”
“A love that does not recognize that Jesus came in the Flesh is not the love that God is asking of us.This is a worldly love, a philosophical love, an abstract love, a love that has flagged, a ‘soft’ or weak love. No! The criterion of Christian love is the Incarnation of the Word. Whoever says that Christian love is something else is the antichrist! Who does not recognize that the Word became Flesh. This is our truth: God sent his Son, who became flesh and who lived like us. To love as Jesus loved (us), to love as Jesus taught us, to love by following the example of Jesus; to love, journeying along the path of Jesus. It is the path of Jesus that gives life.”
Pope Francis went on to explain how the only way to love in the way Jesus loved us is to cast aside our own selfishness and go out to help others because Christian love is a concrete love.
“Going beyond is a mystery: coming out from the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, of the Mystery of the Church. Because the Church is the community around the presence of Christ and it goes beyond this.  That is a really strong word, isn’t it? ….proagon, whoever walks beyond.  And it’s from this that all the ideologies spring: the ideologies on love, the ideologies on the Church, the ideologies that strip the Flesh of Christ from the Church. These ideologies strip away the Flesh of the Church! ‘Yes, I’m a Catholic, yes I’m a Christian, I love the whole world with a universal love’…  But this is so ethereal. Love is always interior, concrete and does not go beyond the doctrine of the Incarnation of the Word.”
The Pope wrapped up his homily by stressing that whoever does not love in the same selfless way as Christ did, loves in an ideological manner.  He also warned against those who put forward theories on love or intellectualize it, saying they ruin the Church and lead to a situation where we have a God without Christ, a Christ without the Church and a Church without people.
“Let us pray to the Lord so that our walk in love never ever becomes for us an abstract love. May our love be concrete with works of mercy whereby we touch the Flesh of Christ, the Incarnate Christ. It is for this reason that the deacon Lawrence said ‘The poor are the treasure of the Church!’  Why?  Because they are the suffering flesh of Christ!  Let us ask for this grace to not go beyond and not enter into this process, that possibly seduces so many people, of intellectualizing  and ideologizing  this love, stripping away the Flesh of the  Church, stripping away Christian love.  And let’s not arrive at the sad spectacle of a God without Christ, of a Christ without the Church and a Church without its people.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday November 11, 2016


Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Lectionary: 495


Reading 12 JN 4-9

[Chosen Lady:]
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so “progressive”
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

AlleluiaLK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”